MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Crowds of people couldn't wait to get into Summerfest for Opening Day on Wednesday, June 25th. Many of them packed more than just their basic Summerfest necessities.
"Well I have some noodles, and I have two cans of pineapple, and I have tomato sauce," said Leah Jajnicek as she headed into Summerfest.
They brought food for Stomp Out Hunger Day sponsored by FOX6 and Johnson Controls.
Those who donated three non-perishable food items to the Hunger Task Force got a free ticket into the Big Gig!
"This is a very positive way to give back and it's Summerfest Opening Day! What can be better?" said Johnson Controls Vice President of Foundation Affairs Mary Dowell.
People bringing food donations are making a big difference as the need goes up this time of year.
That's because kids on summer break aren't receiving free and reduced-price lunches at school.
"The problem of hunger is so severe that these kids are going to go without meals. They may only eat once a day all summer long," said Hunger Task Force Director Sherrie Tussler.
The Hunger Task Force is feeding 40,000 individuals in June alone.
They're encouraging people to donate healthy snacks for kids.
"Granola bars, mac and cheese, peanut butter, little pudding cups, fruit, canned fruit, canned vegetables," said Tussler.
Many were thrilled to kick-off Summerfest while helping others.
"What you give, it comes back to you 10 times better so it`s a great thing," said Rolando Tuazon as he donated food.
If you couldn't make it to Summerfest from during the Stomp Out Hunger collection from noon to 3:00 p.m. on Opening Day, the Hunger Task Force is hosting another promotion.
On Sunday, June 29th there will be free tickets for the first 2,500 people who bring three non-perishable food items to Summerfest's Mid Gate.
The gates open at noon for all 11 days of Summerfest 2014.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Hunger Task Force, or to make a donation.